Monday, 23 November 2015

Steam Loco Dept Weekend Away, Part Two

Here is the second instalment of the Steam Loco Dept's weekend away in north Wales, all text and photos (unless otherwise credited) courtesy of Donna Ludlow.  Thank you Donna.

Saturday 31st October – Welsh Highland Railway

Porthmadog harbour to Caernarfon, 25 Miles

Once again we started our day at the station in Porthmadog but today’s loco was one of the WHR’s articulated Garratt NG/G16 locos, originally built for the South African Railways – a steam loco of a very different nature to the Double Fairlie we travelled behind the day before. These are particularly interesting as they have a water tank at the front and a coal bunker to the rear, both with their own sets of wheels and cylinders with the boiler suspended in between. This setup creates two pivot points, which allows the loco to go round sharper turns more easily. This example was No. 87:
Photo by Tom Evans
As the scenery during yesterday’s journey was so beautiful we were all in great anticipation of what the roughly 5-hour long round trip would bring. It is safe to say that it certainly wasn’t disappointing:

Passing the other Garratt, NG/G16 No. 138 at Beddgelert
Part of the route saw us passing by Snowdon and it was possible to just about see the summit through the mist and haze.

Ashley Haines was keen to try out a very large telephoto lens that he had acquired and snapped this impressive shot of the peak of Mount Snowdon. You can see some walkers and even one of Snowdon Mountain Railway’s locomotives on the left hand side. Great photography Ashley.

Snowdon’s Summit. Photo by Ashley Haines
Footplate rides were available on these trips and Tina, Mark and Andy took up these opportunities. 

On arrival at Caernarfon the weather had turned distinctly wet and miserable but that didn’t stop us from having a look around the town for an hour or so to either get something to eat, have a look around the castle or wander down to the harbour.

On our return to Porthmadog and on leaving the station we decided to stop and watch No. 87 cross the street and go over the bridge. As most of our group had migrated to the opposite side of the road, Tom Evans thought this was a great photo opportunity:

(l-r)Ashley, Beverley, Philip, Mark, George, Ian, Tina, Kevin and Bryan
It was remarked that it looked like a photo from a shoot for an album cover – but what would the group be called? Answers on a postcard please!

Just as the Ffestiniog was, this is an impressive railway and although the journey to Caernarfon and back is a long one there is plenty to see.